The Effects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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What is stress? Stress is an internal response to external events. The word stress comes from a Latin term meaning ?strain, pressure, or force? (Mcswain and Paturas pg.65). To many people, stress is emotional strain that is placed on a person because of work, family responsibilities, or lifestyle changes. In today?s fast paced world, there are many things that can cause stress. One situation is traumatic experiences.

Traumatic experiences include being physically attacked, being in a serious accident, being in combat, being sexually assaulted, and being in a fire or a disaster like hurricane or a tornado. These traumatic experiences can cause an extreme illness called Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a serious condition involving illness, personality changes, and self-destructive behavior. Posttraumatic stress disorder can have many negative effects on a person.

A major effect that PTSD has on a person is the re-experience of the traumatic event. This means that the individual will experience again the same mental, emotional, and physical experiences that occurred during the trauma. In these cases, the survivor will find themselves feeling as if they are in danger, experiencing panic sensations, wanting to escape, getting angry, and thinking about attacking or harming someone else ( ). They may also have trouble sleeping from feelings of anxiety.

Fansler 2 All of these effects can cause many problems for a person. Having to re- experience a traumatic event that you didn?t want to experience in the first place, can be very difficult to deal with. The symptoms that come from the re-experience of a traumatic event can cause many mental and physical problems.

Mentally re-experiencing the trauma may include: upsetting memories such as images or thoughts about the trauma, feelings as if the trauma is happening again (flashbacks), bad dreams and nightmares, getting upset when...